IT professionals face heightened enterprise security challenges amid work from home: Report

Hemani Sheth Mumbai | Updated on September 02, 2020

Professionals are looking for better solutions to improve the security of their systems, increase reliability and tackle new challenges   -  Getty Images/iStockphoto

63% respondents said their organisation positions IT security as cost centre, and not value-driving asset: Juniper Networks’ commissioned study

Organisations are witnessing a surge in enterprise security challenges as more employees work from home, according to a new report by Juniper Networks.

According to the report based on a survey of over a thousand IT networking and security professionals, 97 per cent of participants are facing challenges when attempting to effectively secure their organisations’ networks.

Professionals are looking for better solutions to improve the security of their systems, increase reliability and tackle new challenges.

As per the report, 86 per cent of the respondents are looking to improve network reliability and performance.

“Especially in the current climate of enforced remote working for larger-than-usual employee numbers, the network is the ‘beating heart’ of any organisation undergoing or sustaining digital transformation. To be fully effective, a security deployment must be fully integrated into the network it protects, rather than an uncoupled overlay,” the report said.

According to the report 87 per cent of the participants are looking for a security solution “to give better visibility across existing apps, reducing false positives and improving threat response times.”

Professionals want better solutions to mitigate false threats. This is due to the limited time that IT/Security teams have at their disposal. The teams lack time to respond to threats which makes human errors and false positives more frustrating.

“The net result is that timely mitigation of genuine threats could be hampered. As a result, team leaders crave real-time visibility into their organisation’s data and network, adding context to better understand what is happening,” the report said.

Issues in mitigating security challenges

With a spike in security threats, a majority of IT professionals also claim that most of their time is being spent on security systems rather than on innovating.

On average, 47 per cent of professionals said that IT employees’ time is absorbed by ‘keeping the lights on’ in the network instead of pursuing innovation.

One of the problems that arise in mitigating security challenges is approach to IT security.

According to the report, “Sixty-three per cent of respondents stated that their organisation positions IT security as a cost centre, rather than as a value-driving asset.”

According to the report, 97 per cent stated that they had been obliged to spend money on breach mitigation in the last 12 months, with the average cost being over $276,000.

“This suggests that organisations do not fully realise how vulnerable their networks are to attacks and that reluctance to invest in intelligent security is counter-productive, both to the bottomline and to grasping tangible business benefits proactively,” the report said.

“There is a clear narrative among senior IT and security professionals that is overwhelmingly confirmed in this survey,” said Samantha Madrid, VP of Security Business & Strategy, Juniper Networks.

“Put simply, they know network security is hugely important, with failure increasingly carrying significant risk for their organisation. As workers become more distributed and threats become more sophisticated, security professionals are faced with new and emerging challenges that put enterprises at even greater risk than before. Companies need threat-aware networks that bring speed and agility to enterprise security, coupled with a Connected Security strategy that allows all network elements to work together for increased visibility and action where it matters most. The old way of thinking about security will no longer suffice for those companies battling a new norm,” Madrid said.

The report is based on a survey of 1,000 CIOs, CISOs, CTOs, IT directors, network architects, security directors and IT security specialists across nine countries (France, Germany, Israel, Italy, Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, the Netherlands, UAE, the UK and the US), in June/July 2020.

Juniper Networks has commissioned the study from independent research agency Vanson Bourne.

Published on September 02, 2020

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